Chevy Chase, MD—June 30, 2005—An affiliate of The JBG Companies, L.L.C. (www.jbg.com), together with its partner, CIM Group (www.cimgroup.com), has purchased the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, the largest hotel property in Washington, DC, from Thayer Lodging Group (www.thayergroup.com). This latest acquisition expands JBG's hotel portfolio to seven properties in operation or under construction, totaling over 3,000 rooms, making JBG one of the largest independent hotel operators in the metropolitan area. JBG's plans for the hotel include a $50 million dollar renovation that will improve and reposition the property for the future, with Marriott International continuing to manage the property.
"The acquisition of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is a singular opportunity for JBG and CIM, and we are committed to enhancing and improving the hotel and its surrounding property in a manner consistent with its unique setting and responsive to the issues raised by our neighbors. Our strategy is to upgrade and reconfigure the hotel so as to position it for long term success in the Washington market," said Ken Finkelstein, a partner at JBG.
Built in 1918 and located on 16 beautifully landscaped acres at Woodley Road and Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington, DC, the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is one of the city's most prominent and historic hotels. With over 1,300 guest rooms, it is within walking distance of the National Zoo and close to the downtown central business district, tourist attractions and National Airport. It is comprised of the 202-room Wardman Tower, the 933-room Center Tower and the 199-room Park Tower. It includes more than 173,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The hotel also enjoys a convenient on-site Metro stop. It was purchased by Thayer Lodging Group in 1999, which, along with its managers, Marriott International, successfully guided the hotel through the challenging times following Sept. 11th.
According to Frederick V. Malek, who in 1991 co-founded Thayer, Wardman Park has been an excellent investment for Thayer, netting 2.4 times the invested equity, representing a 17% compound annual return since 1999. "Thayer Lodging Group is especially pleased that this trophy hotel and Washington landmark is being passed to such a respected and responsible firm as JBG," said Mr. Malek.
Thayer has sponsored five hotel investment funds for a small group of institutional investors, and has acquired 30 hotels and invested over $330 million in equity in hotel investments. The sale of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel coincides with Thayer's sale of an eight-hotel portfolio for a 29% compound return since 1995 and two times the return on invested equity. Eastdil Realty Company represented Thayer in the sale of the hotel.
Renovation & Construction
According to Mr. Finkelstein, a phased renovation to the hotel is planned that will include upgrades and renovations to all guest rooms, enhanced exhibition and meeting space, new restaurant concepts, a new fitness center, and the elimination of an existing above-grade ballroom and parking garage. This parking will be replaced through the addition of below-grade parking to the project. JBG also plans to reorganize the service access and parking to mitigate traffic and neighborhood impact, and incrementally reduce hotel room count while significantly upgrading the hotel element for a new Marriott Wardman. A portion of the property is planned to be converted to residential condominiums through the conversion of approximately 199 hotel rooms currently located in the Park Tower. JBG is also considering the possibility of additional residential units on the site of the to-be-demolished parking garage.
Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, JBG is an active developer, owner and operator of office, residential, retail and hotel properties. Founded in 1962, JBG has established a reputation as one of the leading real estate companies in the Washington metropolitan area. In addition to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, JBG owns and operates the following hotel properties: L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, Sheraton Four Points and the Hampton Inn (all in Washington, DC) and the Reston Sheraton in Reston, VA. The Westin Arlington Gateway in Ballston, VA and Hotel Palomar Waterview in Rosslyn, VA are currently under construction.
The CIM Group, based in Los Angeles, is a full service real estate investor and operator focused on urban districts, and manages the $676 million CIM Urban Real Estate Fund, which was formed in 2001 with initial investments from the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System. The Wardman represents the third joint venture CIM and JBG are pursuing in the Metro area.